For most of August I did a relatively short circuit of Europe. All my plans revolved around being at the European Juggling Convention (EJC) in Bruneck during the 1st to 8th of August (the ticket of which I acquired through a trade, sending a letter and parcel full of mystery Irish/camping/hiking goodies to a friend in New Zealand).

My original plan had been to fly to Munich, Germany, travel to Bruneck, Italy; Budapest, Hungary; Prague, Czech Republic; Berlin, Germany; Enschede, Netherlands, and fly back from Brussels, Belgium. What actually happened was I flew to Munich, travelled to Bruneck, then Austria briefly, Hungary, and flew back from Berlin. These entries will be separated roughly by place.

Before departing I had a lot of things to get. I knew I was going to be camping quite a bit so I took the time to do some research and invest in my first tent and back-pack, and a sleeping bag. I bought a cheap light-weight two person tent – and it was still a pretty tight squeeze for me (5’2″) and my backpack. I got a cheap, plain sleeping-bag, and a cotton liner in case it was cold (which could also be slept in on its own when it was hot). I got a bag similar to this one, and attached my tent and ground-mat to the outside.

I also had a water-proof bag with all my important stuff (plus spare socks and undies) at the bottom of the bag (for easy access and also if the bag got left on wet ground). I also brought a personalised first-aid kit; a regular first aid kit plus vitamins, sun-cream and after sun, painkillers (strong, weak, ones you can take with alcohol and won’t kill you), pads, tampons, condoms, bug-repellent, after-bite care and sweets. After that it was clothes (shorts, convention t-shirts, rain coat, flip-flops, old runners, a hat), a micro-fibre towel, shampoo and conditioner, a book, a travel diary, a plush ray (Gunther, my travel buddy) a vague travel plan, juggling equipment and my wallet.

On the 28th of July I travelled to Dublin, met up with a friend in the city before heading to the airport at 9pm. I had €300 in the bank, €55 on me, expected another €300 payment to come in while I travelled, one train ticket from Austria to Hungary booked, and one ticket to the EJC and a one-way flight to Munich. I “camped” overnight in the airport in preparation for waking up at 5am to fly out.

Published by Blue Hanley

Galway-based Theatre-maker who loves circus, conventions and travelling.

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